By Oscar L. Orias and Dr. Muhammad Emran
The winter months are a busy time for urgent care centers and ERs. The reasons are due to a higher risk for flu, common cold, and holiday decorating accidents. It is also a time when many family doctors and pedestrians are closed for the holidays. This leaves people looking at the different healthcare options. Urgent care can be a great selection, especially if their condition isn’t life-threatening but needs prompt treatment. It can also save you money, since urgent cares are usually a fraction of the cost of a freestanding ER.
Here are 5 great reasons for using an urgent care this holiday season:
- Most Urgent Cares are In-network with your private insurance. Urgent care co-pays are much less than emergency department co-pays. Urgent care centers can verify your insurance coverage and let you know what your total cost will be BEFORE you are seen by the doctor. Emergency departments and freestanding ERs cannot tell you what the full cost is before a visit. The total cost may be over $3000 for simple injury or illness. At urgent care, the cost is a fraction less. For patients who do not have any insurance coverage at all, West Oaks Urgent Care as well as other urgent care clinics offers discounted pricing option.
- Open (almost) every day. Many primary care and pediatrician offices in the Houston, Sugar Land, and Katy area are closed for weeks at a time over the Christmas break. However, our urgent care clinic is open almost every day. We even offer extended hours on weekends and evenings. Our doctors are supported by experienced nurses and x-ray technicians on every shift, just like hospital ER.
- No long waits. Most patient who come to urgent care are busy professionals, have children, or just do not have the time to sit in a waiting room. Hospital emergency room wait times can be as much as 4 hours. For people who have stomach issues, have a rash, or a severe cough, this could be much longer since the emergency department takes ambulances at a higher priority. Plus, you may be exposed to other people with more serious health issues such as the flu, pneumonia, or pink eye while waiting with other sick people for hours.
- Life’s minor emergencies. Nobody plans on getting into a car accident, cutting a finger with a knife, or falling from a ladder while hanging Christmas lights. Your family doctor or pediatrician may not feel comfortable doing stitches, reading x-rays, or giving IV fluids. Our urgent care like others, usually have experienced doctors on staff. These doctors are comfortable in quickly take care of your wounds, food poisoning symptoms, and interpret x-rays confidently. They are also certified in treating your child for any minor emergency situations that arises.
- Easy accessibility for out-of-state travelers. If you are visiting from out of state and leave your blood pressure medicine behind, our doctors can help refill your medication. Urgent cares are a great quick option for travelers that need refills or get seen by a doctor. Also they cost a fraction of hospital and freestanding ERs and usually better at treating hypertension, diabetes, or chronic conditions.
If You suffering from the following: severe bleeding, compound fracture, possible stroke, chest pains, or shortness of breath please call 911 and go to the ER immediately.